Glasgow International Exhibition (1901)

The Glasgow International Exhibition was the second of 4 international exhibitions held in Glasgow, Scotland during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition took place during a period of half-mourning requested by Edward VII[1] but was still popular and made more than £35000 profit.[2] The exhibition was opened by the King's daughter, the Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife.[1]

Glasgow International Exhibition
Kelvingrove Gall and Mus Glasgow.jpg
The Palace of Fine Arts at the exhibition remained as a permanent legacy
BIE-classUnrecognized exposition
NameGlasgow International Exhibition
CountryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
VenueKelvingrove Park
Opening2 May 1901
Closure4 November 1901
The Port Sunlight cottages in Kelvingrove Park are some of the few remaining original buildings from the 1901 exhibition.


The exhibition followed the lead of the first Glasgow exhibition, the International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry, held in 1888, taking place in Kelvingrove Park. It ran between 2 May and 4 November.[3][4] It marked the opening of the city's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and also commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the first world's fair held in the UK, doubling that attendance with 11.5 million visits.[1]

Following the style popularised at the 1893 Chicago world's fair, the main exhibition building was in Renaissance-Baroque style. But the large industrial hall contrasted strongly having a large white facade with Spanish, Turkish and Venetian ornamentation and a large golden dome atop.[1] This design by James Miller won him one of his many awards.[5]

Countries with close ties to Glasgow exhibited including Japan, Canada and Russia. The Russian exhibition was the largest, a 'Russian village' of 4 pavilions reported to have cost the Tsar of Russia £30,000[1] and included several brightly coloured buildings designed by Fyodor Schechtel.[4]

Whilst Charles Mackintosh's designs for the major exhibition halls were rejected, he did design four pavilions for commercial organisations, and one for the Glasgow School of Art.

Many art works were displayed, including Danae by Edward Burne-Jones, a plaster version of Rodin's Burghers of Calais and 160 works loaned by William Burrell.

Entertainments included a switchback railway, a water chute, an Indian theatre and soap sculptures.

The fair was visited by the King of Siam and by Empress Eugenie.[2]


The land used for the exhibition remains a park, Kelvingrove Park, the 40 foot cast-iron Walter MacFarlane Saracen Fountain from the Saracen Foundry now resides in the city's Alexandra Park and the two Port Sunlight cottages, designed by Glasgow architect James Miller, can still be found in Kelvingrove Park.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Pelle, Kimberley D. "Glasgow 1901". In Findling, John E (ed.). Encyclopedia of World's Fairs and Expositions. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-7864-3416-9.
  2. ^ a b Pelle, Kimberley D. "Glasgow 1901". In Findling, John E (ed.). Encyclopedia of World's Fairs and Expositions. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-7864-3416-9.
  3. ^ "1901 Glasgow". Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  4. ^ a b "TheGlasgowStory: International Exhibition, 1901". Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  5. ^ "TheGlasgowStory: James Miller". Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  6. ^ "historical-buildings". Retrieved 14 May 2021.

External sourcesEdit

Preceded by
International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry
World's Fairs held in Glasgow
Succeeded by
Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry